Luxe Lounge Wing Challenge

Posted on October 25, 2013 by Leave a comment ,   |  
Luxe Lounge

Luxe Lounge – Photo Credit: http://ultrastarakchin.com/luxe_lounge.asp

Xavvi told me about a place called Luxe Lounge in Maricopa that was supposed to have a killer wing challenge. I wasn’t worried.

In fact, going in I was a bit cocky. We laughed off the wings Zipps warned us about, we handled the Donkey wings at The Reef without issue, we easily (but fucking slowly) got through the hottest wings the Hops N’ Heat contest could throw at us, and I had already experienced The Toothpick at NY Boys. How much worse could it get?

This is how I expected it to play out: Xavvi and I would strut through the door and order up the suicide challenge wings. We would smirk at their warnings and sign their death waiver without a care. After the wings arrived we would pick each of the dozen wings apart with little fanfare. When we finished, we would raise our fists in the air like victorious boxers and we would head home to watch the the highlights of the whole event on ESPN.

That isn’t exactly how it played out.

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Our Experience at the Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival 2013

Posted on July 8, 2013 by Leave a comment ,   |  
It's like the short bus mated with a beer can and made that midget

If that can got any shorter it would be Ja Rule’s acting career.

 

Sometimes it’s easier to do more with less.  Or at least, that’s what I always try to convince my wife of…

Compare the limited budget of a film like Serenity versus the limitless budget of something like one of the Star Wars prequels; even with all the money in the world, George Lucas couldn’t effectively tell a story to save his life the way Joss Whedon did on a fraction of the budget.

Yeah, sometimes less is more and “small” becomes “intimate“, the way the Phoenix Brewers Invitational Festival in a small patch of Heritage Square downtown last year managed to do.  But then again, sometimes a massive spectacle can pull it off just right and become an instant classic event.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Scottsdale’s own Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival.

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Greg Fretz of Phoenix Ale Brewery Passed Away

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Leave a comment   |  
Greg Fretz

Greg Fretz

The local beer community got some very sad news this past weekend. Greg Fretz, co-founder of Phoenix Ale Brewery, has passed away after a battle with throat cancer.

Fretz was a very influential figure in the local beer scene and, by all accounts, he was a genuinely great guy. He will be missed by very many people here. The community will miss him but it was better for having had him be a part of it.

Our thoughts our with his family. They have set up a fund to help them get through this difficult time:

http://www.gofundme.com/2zyfhw

 

The Hungry Monk

Posted on May 12, 2013 by 3 Comments ,   |  

 

Hungry Monk Chandler

He kind of looks like a creepy, rapist Friar Tuck

 

I recently read a review from some seemingly nice fellows about The Hungry Monk in Chandler.  They extolled the virtues of its beer list, the convenience of its location with regard to proximity of other craft beer hotspots (specifically San Tan Brewery and Whole Foods) and mentioned they loved the wings…

Pause.

…the boneless wings.

I have to give credit to these guys though, The Brew Bros [Editor's Note: Why can't we have a catchy name like that?  The Wing Warriors?  The Imbibing Idiots?  The Drink....Drinkers?], they seem pretty legit in their knowledge of craft beer.  They’ve got interviews with San Tan Brewery and reviews of out-of-state breweries, whereas all we have to show for our dedication to the craft is getting drunk at a beer fest and getting drunker at a different beer fest.  Then again, we also spent a lot of our time narrowing down the exact science that is the art form of the buffalo wing, so we’re not completely useless.  And since The Hungry Monk has developed a reputation for both their craft beer list and their wings, what better place to expand our beer repertoire (read:  drink more beer and act like we’re doing it for science)?

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Wingstock 2013

Posted on April 19, 2013 by Leave a comment ,   |  

Wingstock 2013

The folks that run Wingstock recently referred to us as the Phoenix wing experts. Pretty quick after that someone let us know they did not feel the same. Their reason being that we think Native New Yorker is one of the worst wing places (we don’t actually, we consider them pretty average) and we should have them ranked number one because they are the most popular and therefore they are the best.

While their appeal to popularity argument may be a fallacy it does bring up an interesting question: Are we out of touch with the average Phoenix wing eater?

To be fair, our own views on the best wings have changed a lot as we toured the Valley going to every dive bar, pizza joint, and wing spot we could find. Native New Yorker was actually my regular go-to place before we began all of this.

I have to believe, though, that most people would have a similar experience as I did and they are picking Native New Yorker as their favorite because they haven’t been exposed to better wings rather than because they have tried them all and they hold Native up as truly the best. Native New Yorker wings are not terrible, and if you are comparing them to Buffalo Wild Wings or a similar chain they are going to look pretty damn good. They just can’t hold their own with the best of local hot wings. You know, like how Pizza Hut would look pretty damn good when compared with a Totino’s frozen pizza but it isn’t going to fare very well if you compare it with Pizzeria Bianco.

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Spring Swing Beer Bash – 2013, Mesa AZ

Posted on April 5, 2013 by 1 Comment   |  
This is from the event's Facebook page.  It about says it all.

This is from the event’s Facebook page. It about says it all.

Better late than never, right?  With all the changes happening both to the site (redesign might be coming soon!) and to our lives (apparently you need money to do this stuff on a consistent basis without sponsors), things have been rather chaotic in the last few months.  Our posts have become more sparse and so when we ARE able to attend an event like this beer fest, we have to be choosy because money doesn’t grow in my backyard after trying to plant cut-up dollar bills into a Topsy-Turvy I got from the Dollar Store for literally a dollar, which may or may not have happened (it did happen).

That being said, we did make it out to an event about a month ago that I’m just now writing the article for.  A combination of waiting for the pics, not having internet for a while, and then switching jobs has wreaked havoc on my ability to write an article, but it’s not like I would have remembered the details if I had written it the next day anyway.  This beer fest did a number on us, to say the least.

This particular craft beer fest took place on a cold and blustery March day.  It was March 9th, and I’m fairly certain that I waxed poetic about the aptness of it being a rainy day on the anniversary of the death of Notorious B.I.G. drunkenly to many a folk that day.  If I didn’t, you’re welcome…that could have gotten bad.  Flanigan Entertainment was putting on this particular event, and are apparently also responsible for a “Beat The Heat Winter Fest” that I had no idea existed.

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Wingstock 2013: Will The True King of Wings Please Stand Up?

Posted on March 27, 2013 by Leave a comment   |  

Giant Chicken Man preps for his new movie deal with Marvel

Giant Chicken Man preps for his new movie deal with Marvel

 

On March 30th, restaurants from all around the valley will gather to compete in this year’s annual Wingstock Festival.  We wrote all about last year’s event, and how much fun we had there.

Games and attractions for the kids will be present (I think there’s a jumping castle.  I also think you might find one of us sleeping in there, drunkenly).  Live music will be played all day, and Mesa’s own Desert Eagle Brewing will be serving beer at the event.  Gates open at 11am and it runs until 5pm.  Admission is $5 in advance, $7 at the gate, and you can buy wing tickets inside.  1 ticket = 1 wing, so we recommend you buy…ohhhh, I don’t know…50 tickets a person.

You will also be able to vote for your favorite wing of the day, so please help correct the awful mistake from last year and don’t let Native New Yorker win again.  That was a travesty and it insulted our wing-loving hearts.  The Reef (formerly Draft House on the Reef) will be there, and they’re awesome, so check that out.

An ATL Wings restaurant will be there, but there’s some controversy over just which one it is.  There’s ATL Wings (on Warner Rd) that we reviewed and LOVED.  But there’s also an ATL Wings Your Way, and there’s apparently some bad blood between the two.  Just which one will show up?

Get your asses over there and eat some wings and support this festival.  It’s like our Christmas.  AND VOTE FOR THE RIGHT WINGS.

The Burn Unit, or “Can’t Stand The Heat?/!”

Posted on February 26, 2013 by 1 Comment   |  
Pictured:  Me, just after leaving Flancer's.

Pictured: Me, just after leaving Flancer’s.

I have a confession to make.  It’s not an easy one and I’ve wrestled with it for the entirety of this website’s existence, but I feel like if I’m ever going to be able to move on with my life I just have to face it head-on.  Here goes:

 

I can only eat the super-hot wings if I douse them in enough ranch to fill up a kiddie-sized (or Danny DeVito-sized) swimming pool.

 

It’s an earth-shattering revelation for someone as revered in the hot wing community as myself [Editor's Note:  There isn't a hot wing community.  He's a dick.].  Reviewing hot wings means you have to be able to handle something beyond mild, and that’s not a problem for me.  I know a lot of people out there give us crap for always wanting to push the heat limit because they don’t quite have the same tolerance we do, and I totally get it; not everyone is a heat-freak.  It’s fine and I’ve said so before, but now that you know I can only ever reach the upper-echelon heat with assistance from Mister Buttermilk and the Dairy-Doos (it’s a real band, look them up) [Editor's Note:  It's not a real band, don't waste your time.  He's a dick.] how can you ever take me seriously?

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Keegan’s Grill & Taproom

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Leave a comment ,   |  
Keegan's Grill

Keegan’s Grill in Chandler (Photo credit: Google +)

You don’t always get what you expect. For example, I didn’t expect to be sick for 3 weeks. I didn’t expect to miss the Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival because I was sick. And I certainly didn’t expect it to be two and a half months since our last review that was focused mostly on wings.

These types of things tend to happen when you least expect them and sometimes there is not much you can really do about it. In this case, I had been wingless for weeks. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the doctor had told me I wasn’t sick I was just suffering with wing withdrawal. That would be if I had gone to a doctor, like a wimp. (Fine I went to the stupid doctor, shut up.)

As soon as we got a chance we picked a night we could go out and we picked a place that had a good reputation for wings. We picked another place randomly at first but the place didn’t have enough reviews saying the wings were good for us to visit it this time. We wanted something that sounded very reliable to deliver the wings we were craving. It had been long enough that we were not screwing around. So, based on some personal recommendations, and several good online reviews, we picked Keegans Grill & Taproom.

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Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival 2012

Posted on December 27, 2012 by 5 Comments   |  
phx beer fest mug

You poor baby, you’re bone dry. Let’s get some life-liquid in you.

We’re beer snobs…err…reviewers now, right?  And as beer house reviewers, if there’s a festival that has 61 breweries participating in an outdoor event on a warm and sunny December day in downtown Phoenix, well I suppose it’s just our awful and terrible duty to find a way to cover it, right?  Right.  Right as shit.

The Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival (PHX BrewFest) took place on December 7th and 8th in Heritage Square in Phoenix.  Organized by Greg Fretz of the Phoenix Ale Brewery (and namesake of Fretzy’s Unfiltered Ale), it was a weekend scheduled specifically for craft brew enthusiasts. We wanted to check out both Friday and Saturday but we had a rather large prior engagement to attend to on Friday.  As well, Tyler was extremely under the weather basically since the last time the Cardinals won a game so it was up to me to suffer through this terrible task of drinking delicious beer on a gorgeous day.

Being relatively unprepared for this event (we honestly didn’t even plan to cover it until the very last minute), the pictures and notes I have are mostly scattered and as you can imagine would be the case with a beer festival, the later the day got, the more scattered my thoughts got.

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